Laquan McDonald accountability case verdict lets police off free of charges


Ex-Officer Joseph Walsh (right) and his attorney Todd Pugh Jan. 17 leaving the courthouse in Chicago. 

By Ali Qazi

Three officers walk away clear of all charges on Thursday from a public battle for police  accountability. Showing the city and the country the blue wall of silence is indestructible

Laquan McDonald was shot 16 times by former police officer Jason Van Dyke on Oct. 20, 2014. Upon review of the dashcam video McDonald is shown walking away from the officers before getting shot. In the report written by Van Dyke’s partner Walsh, Walsh had said the 17-year-old lunged at them with a knife. However, when the video was released, it showed Van Dyke stepping toward McDonald.

 “I feel as if another life has come to an end because officers used the wrong judgement,” senior communication major Neveen Sheikhali, said. “Instead of owning up to it, they are hiding what really happened that night.”

 This case is a step in the right direction because it shows multiple things that are still wrong with the system, one of them being having judges who have a bias towards law enforcement and this needs to be fixed. A solution would be to elect judges who keep both sides in view.

In this particular case the judge majority of the time kept the officers views as his own even though there was video evidence proving them wrong. The judge and the three officers failed the city and the people.

 Police officers who write their own narrative on reports will hopefully think twice before they do. The officers who were on trial were an example that regardless of work affiliation you can still be in need of a lawyer. Hopefully, this is what was needed to shake up the the cops who think they can’t get a subpoena.

 “It’s complete crap,” Mir Ali, senior industrial systems and management major, said. “If anyone else had his evidence covered up and it was proven that evidence had been covered up, they would be charged in a plethora of ways.”

 Chicago police Officer Dora Fontaine should be recognized for her bravery as she testified against the three officers who were presumed to be in the wrong. She is a real cop, and is setting standards for the police who still back the blue wall of silence.

There is a clear-cut line when something should be left for better judgement and when someone needs to step up and admit they messed up. Instead of backing up the corrupt individuals regardless of rank, officers should remember the difference between right and wrong.